Movie-Plex 42

244 W. 42nd Street,
New York, NY 10036

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Opening in June of 1994 this former porn house was cheaply turned into a six-plex to supply W. 42nd Street with movies, after all the original theatres were shuttered. There was no way it could have lasted with Loews E-walk and AMC Empire coming, but for a short time it provided flicks to a quickly changing W. 42nd Street.

Contributed by RobertR

Recent comments (view all 26 comments)

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on September 21, 2007 at 10:18 am

It was the only grindhouse in town after the Harris was shuttered. I liked the switching auditoriums, walking in and out of different movies. And they weren’t all on the same floor, which means you had to do a little research to see the movies you wanted.

I remember, though, that the theaters weren’t as darkly lit as their forebears — and the ushers more vigilant — which made some patrons a bit self-conscious about smoking weed right in the theater. Luckily there was an open fire escape in the rear that filled the bill.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 16, 2008 at 10:12 am

Roxy Twin should be added as an aka here.

KingBiscuits on July 26, 2008 at 6:39 pm

Movie-Plex 42 opened on June 24th, 1994 with the films Wolf, Speed, City Slickers II, The Cowboy Way, The Flintstones and Getting Even With Dad.

Later in the year, business apparently was so bad that they started doing shows at 2:00 am to get the target crowd. And they also ran some kids movies there like The Pagemaster. Imagine watching something like that in the old Times Square.

DARCYDT on June 4, 2009 at 12:00 pm

I remember seeing Cowboy Way here. Does anyone else remember that some of the last surviving cinemas on the deuce in the early 90’s used to show pictures that were opening on Friday on the Thursday night preceding. I believe there was about 2 theaters then. I can remember seeing Mother’s Boys with Jamie Lee Curtis and Naked Gun 33 1/3 double billed on the Thursday night before they opened the next day everywhere else. Saw a few other pics at Movie-Plex 42 but don’t remember what.

KingBiscuits on June 3, 2011 at 5:06 am

As it turns out, the theatre actually did rather well in its short time span. Fridays and Saturdays reportedly had many sellouts and the theatre attracted many teens and couples. The theatre actually closed due to the city evicting the old tenants of 42nd Street despite business. The owners later sued the city but I don’t know how that went.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 3, 2011 at 1:22 pm

KingBiscuits, you might as well be talking about the old 42nd Street grindhouses, which the Movie-Plex replaced. Each of them were doing quite well on weekends and were only closed when they were evicted by the city for redevelopment.

neeb on January 5, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Some good info here:

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 6, 2012 at 6:27 am

Thanks, neeb. I love that site. By the way, the photo at the bottom of that page is actually of the other Roxy porn house that was immediately adjacent to the New Amsterdam Theatre – and does not have a listing here yet.

Anyway, here’s an active link to that page you posted.

DavidZornig on August 27, 2017 at 1:18 pm

1971 photo added of the Roxy Bulesk/Joy 42nd Street Theatre marquee. Thanks to Ed Solero for the detective work.

DavidZornig on December 4, 2018 at 9:11 am

1972 photo added via Photographs From The 1970s Facebook page.

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